This is a glossary of grammatical terms used on this wiki.


A word that modifies or describes a noun. "Big" and "tall" are examples of adjectives.


A word that modifies or describes a verb. "Quickly" and "slowly" are examples of adverbs.

Content wordEdit

In toki pona, any noun, verb, or modifier can be used in any of those roles. Collectively these words are referred to as "content words" and are distinguished from particles. pona, suwi, and moku are examples of content words in toki pona.


A command or instruction. "Do as I say, not as I do" is an imperative sentence, as is "go!".


A grammatical mood that describes a real or actual thing. The sentence "the cat is cute" is an example of an indicative sentence.

Intransitive VerbEdit

A verb that cannot take a direct object. "Smile" is an intransitive verb: "the baby smiles."


In toki pona, adverbs and adjectives are never distinguished, unlike English. Any toki pona word that can modify a noun can also modify a verb, and vice versa. For this reason, the two are often lumped together as "modifiers" when discussing toki pona grammar.


A word that names a person, place, or thing. "Fish", "tree", and "Oklahoma" are nouns.


The thing or things to which the action of the sentence is done. In the sentence "you pet the dog," the word "dog" is the object.


A grammatical mood that expresses a wish, hope, or desire. The sentence "the children should do their homework" is an example of an optative sentence.


A word that has no definite meaning but is used to show the grammatical structure of a sentence. li, e, and pi are examples of particles in toki pona.


The part of the sentence that is attached to the subject. In the sentence "The human looks at the tree", "looks at the tree" is the predicate and "the human" is the subject.


A word that describes a noun's relationship to the rest of the sentence in time or space. "After" and "beside" are examples of prepositions. Often the preposition and the noun it introduces are referred to as the "prepositional phrase." In the sentence "don't give coffee to infants," "to infants" is a prepositional phrase.

Proper NounEdit

A noun that names a specific or definite thing. Personal names and names of places are usually proper nouns. "Preston", "Europe", and "Mount Everest" are examples of proper nouns.

Semantic (value)Edit

The "meaning" of the word. Generally opposed to syntax, which describes how words are placed next to one another, semantics concerns itself with the possible alternative words that could occupy a single position in a sentence.


A group of words that contain a subject and a predicate. "Dogs chase cats" is a sentence. "Apple pie" is not.


The main actor or actors in a sentence. In the sentence "I read the book," the word "I" is the subject.


The position of words in a sentence or phrase. Often words are categorized by the kinds of positions they can occupy in a sentence, or what words they can appear next to.

Transitive VerbEdit

A verb that takes a direct object. "Eat" is a transitive verb: "I eat the cookie.


A word that names an action. "Run" and "sit" are examples of verbs.


A form of a noun used to call to or address something or someone. In the phrase "hey you!", the word "you" is vocative. English does not distinguish vocative from non-vocative nouns, but other languages (like toki pona) do.